Basil. Quite possibly my favorite herb. Recently, I’ve taken preference to enjoying pesto on my pasta dishes rather than tomato sauces. Something about the pungent freshness of basil has become so much more enticing to me. In my opinion, pesto is the king of sauces. Now as you’ve read before, my fiancé has a lactose intolerance — so store bought pestos are usually out of the question due to the cheese content. There are vegan pestos, but those can be pretty pricey and hard to find if you live in an area not graced by the presence of a whole foods. I decided I wanted to give it a go at making my own pesto. I had left over cashews from making the cashew milk last week and have read about the use of cashews to add creaminess to vegan sauces. I also used nutritional yeast to lend a cheesy flavor to the cheese-less sauce. Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast and it holds a lot of value and benefit to our diets. In two tablespoons there is 8 grams of complete protein, 4 grams of fiber, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins! Other ingredients used were basil (obviously), garlic, sea salt, pepper, water, and lemon juice. Note: this is NOT a low fat pesto recipe as there is cashews and olive oil, but the quality of the fats is more important than the quantity. Fats are good for the body! This pesto whipped up quickly in my food processor and went SO WELL with lentil pasta and roasted vegetables. ( & the fiancé loved it, which is always a win.) Recipe below! Give it a try (and post a pic to instagram if you do!).
Creamy Cashew Basil Pesto
This simple and flavor-rich sauce is the perfect topping for pastas, grilled or roasted vegetables, and meats. Updated on 6/7/17
– 4 bunches of fresh basil (as in, 4 main stems of basil)
– 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least an hour)
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 4 tsp nutritional yeast
– 1 tsp garlic
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 2 tsp lemon juice
– 4 tbsp cup water
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. Use for everything!